Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Good Morning World!
I hope you’re having a great start to the week. Things are pretty easy breezy for me at the moment, so I can’t really complain.
Last night I finished reading a book!
This time around I read The Ten Thousand Doors of January.
Fun fact, this was a buddy read I did with Iseult Murphy. We’ve done a number of reads together and after reading the blurb we were all about it. This post is my individual opinion of the novel. Stay tuned for our buddy read and rant.
On to the review!
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
I gave this book two stars.
I was extremely disappointed with this book. To be frank, if this wasn’t a buddy read I probably would’ve just DNF’d to save me some time.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is about a girl named January. Set in the early 1900’s, she enjoys a lavish lifestyle thanks to her and her father’s benefactor Mr. Locke. She lives in his strange museum of oddities. But when her father goes missing she goes on a quest to find him, finding much more than she bargained for in the process.
Alright, so I’m gonna get this out of the way. If you are expecting this book to be about January finding hidden doors and going on an adventure to other worlds, do not be fooled. Very little of that actually happens in the book, and if I’d known that I wouldn’t have bothered reading it. I honestly think this book was a huge tease. The concept of the doors is ever present, the element of fantasy just a doorknob away. But at least 90% of the book doesn’t go there, which made me really upset. Why would the writing tease me at every turn and corner only for the reader to be consistently disappointed? If you make a huge deal about the doors and the worlds behind them then I fully expect the author to take me there. Instead what we get is a blathering mess.
January was a frustrating character. For starters, most of the book was a constant self-pity party for her. Believe me, her life wasn’t perfect, and she had plenty to be upset about. But rather than take that pent up anger and having some courage to change her life, she is for the most part meek. There’s only so much of that a reader can take without getting annoyed. I do think the author tried to have her character progress, but she still wasn’t brave enough and constantly whined about her past every single chapter. Again, I get it, but the character should’ve stopped being so darned introspective and looked around for answers more quickly.
Most other characters weren’t really all that great either, especially her father. There is a point where he ‘explains’ his actions, but it makes no sense whatsoever and just shows how terrible of a character he is. He’s just as meek as January is.
The flow of this book was terrible. I would say at least 50% of this book is purple prose, and as much as I enjoy a well thought out simile or metaphor, it is simply too much and is unacceptable. Events that should take maybe a page to get the point across can take upwards of ten pages of introspective blather from January. I got to a point where I just started skimming. If I saw the purple prose starting I skipped over it until something actually happened. Yes, the writing is very pretty, but every scene drags horribly and takes the reader out of the story. There must be balance in writing, and this book severely lacks it.
Plotwise not much really happens due to the book being mainly fluff from January’s introverted obsessions with her flowery thoughts. What does occur is disappointing. Like I said earlier, I expected an adventure to other worlds. We hardly got any of that. There are two POV’s, one from a special book that details otherworldly travels. As good as that sounds, the way it’s presented doesn’t really add to the story and there still isn’t enough fantasy there. It felt like more of a distraction from January’s boring journey, and I wasn’t buying it.
Overall, this book severely lacked the fantasy that was promised, had way too much purple prose, and the characters were weak. I’m glad I rented it from my library instead of purchasing it, and I cannot in good conscience recommend this to anyone. If you’re looking for a true fantasy adventure, look elsewhere.
That’s a Wrap!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!
Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!
If you’d like to see other reviews of mine, feel free to check out the book review section of my blog or my GoodReads. You can also follow my GoodReads reviews here. There are some great binge-worthy books on there!
Have a great day!
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